The Malion Quartet present a music video of Beethoven’s mammoth Grosse Fuge, op.133. This relentless work is a test for any chamber ensemble, requiring intense concentration, strength and stamina.

The piece was initially dismissed as ‘incomprehensible’ by Beethoven’s contemporaries and critics in 1826, yet gained acclaim gradually throughout the years, with composer Igor Stravinsky deeming the work as ’an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.’

Working with film director Andreas Kessler, the quartet shot the video on the Croatian island of Krk during the summer of 2021. The aim was to create a unique performing experience during a time when concert halls were closed.

The Malion Quartet consists of violinists Alex Jussow and Jelena Galić, violist Lilya Tymchyshyn and cellist Bettina Kessler. Since its formation in 2018, the quartet has appeared at numerous chamber music festivals, including Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau Musikfestival, Rencontres Musicales d‘Evian, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Musikfest Stuttgart, Mozartfest Würzburg and Konzerthaus Berlin.

The quartet holds a scholarship from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, as well as receiving grants from the German Music Council and the Society of Friends and Patrons of the HfMDK Frankfurt. Highlights for the quartet include organising its first festival in Frankfurt in March 2022, as well as participating in the upcoming Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London next month.

This week at The Strad, we’re exploring the big, wide world of string quartets! Check out the box below for more articles relating to chamber music teaching, reperotoire and performance.